Addiction is a disease that affects people of all social statuses. When a person suffers from addiction, they find it difficult to stay away from the addiction element. And if they somehow muster the courage to do so, withdrawal symptoms surface, resulting in relapses.
This is when the patients find themselves at the corner of the darkroom with no one to help. It is the time when the patients are in the most vulnerable state, and if not taken proper care of, they can break down.
The only way to take care of a patient suffering from addiction is by using empathetic words, showing how much you love them, and trying to understand what they are going through.
Empathy and addiction share an important connection. People suffering from addiction are not empathetic individuals. They are more concerned about their own needs than others.
Hence, if you can give them what they lack, it can certainly help them to muster the courage and go with the addiction treatment process.
The Relationship Between Empathy And Addiction
Before you can understand the connection between empathy and addiction, you first need to understand what both individually and individually means.
Empathy is the state where you try to understand others by keeping yourself in their current situation. Unfortunately, this very feeling is missing from addiction patients, and they tend to do only those things that meet their needs.
This lack of empathy of the patients is what creates conflict with the other people around them. Unfortunately, this led to some serious problems in the patient’s life.
If your family member is suffering from addiction, it is important to empathize with others. This will help hold a valuable conversation and might be able to help the patients come out of their darkroom.
If this might sound too much to try for yourself, try seeking help from professionals. They might guide you with the necessary steps.
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Why Is Empathy Important In Addiction Treatment?
One of the important factors in primary addiction treatment success rate is to have a good therapist who understands the patients and their emotional needs. Now that can only happen if the therapist is empathetic towards the patients.
It has been seen that counselors with high empathy appear to be more successful in treating their patients than counselors with low empathy.
The study shows that there are more dropouts in the and relapse rate with low empathetic counselors and frontal counseling.
Developing Empathy In Recovery
Development of empathetic behavior in the patients while recovery is important. This shows that the patient is walking on the right path.
We know that addiction is a chronic disease that changes how our brain functions. With the change in brain functionality, the person becomes dependent on drug usage.
Once the person has fallen victim to addiction, they only think about themselves and their needs for the addiction element.
One of the main aims of the addiction recovery process is to allow the patients to relearn things by understanding them empathetically.
There are countless rewards to learning empathy. It helps the patient repair the damaged relationships, increase communication level, reduce apathy and offer help when needed.
Fortunately, empathy is something that can be learned and practiced. With enough dedication, anyone can open up to a deeper understanding for others.
- Listen to what others are saying.
- Let them complete what they are speaking.
- Work with a therapist to understand your own feelings better.
- Do not judge a book by its cover.
- Imagine how you will feel if you have been in their position.
- Understand that agreeing to everything is not OK. Instead, empathize with their position.
How To Communicate With Someone Suffering From Addiction?
Navigating a conversation is in itself a hard nut to crack; forget about talking to an addictive patient. If your approach is not good enough to make them feel comfortable, you might find them avoiding a conversation.
So, how can you offer empathy, love, and support?
Though all people suffering from addiction are not the same, a basic outline strategy might help you.
Show them you care by speaking kindly. Addiction is so stigmatized in society that people suffering from addiction expect others to judge, insult, criticize, and reject them.
By talking nicely with the person, you show that you accept them for who they are and want to help. This might help you break the ice and convince them of the addiction treatment.
Listen More, Talk Less
An important part of helping a person suffering from addiction is to listen to their worries and things they have piled up inside their hearts. This is the best way to enter their comfort zone and get hold of the things bothering them.
If there are things that you do not agree with, do not pass any judgment, you don’t want to make them feel like you are passing the judgment.
It is important to set a certain layer of boundaries. This helps the patients stay in their comfort zone. However, if you try to force yourself inside their comfort zone, they might find it difficult to open up with you.
Don’t Tell Patients What To Do
You want to help your loved ones with their addiction problem, but going as far as holding their fingers and guiding them on what to do might be an offensive thing to do. They might think that you are trying to control them.
Instead of going head-string forward, take unconventional ways to make them realize their mistakes and take all the necessary steps on their own.
Educate Yourself On Addiction
We live in a society where people are often blamed for their own addiction. But, we all know that’s not the case.
There are many instances where people have fallen victim to addiction, not because they wanted to, but because they have been raised in such an environment, forced by their peers, or considered it to be the only way to run away from all the misery they are experiencing.
It is time to educate yourself on addiction and offer our helping hand towards their recovery.